The Bridal Quest by Jennifer Mikels
(Silh. Sp. Ed. #1360, $4.50, PG) ISBN 0-373-24360-X
Why Jessica and Sarah look so alike and how each of them get to where they are is so improbable that I don’t even want to try to explain. Can I just say this is the first of a THREE part series called “Here Come the Brides”? I think I can skip the next two books. --- from my review of The Millionaire Takes a Bride.

Well, guess what? Yes indeed, here is the review for the second part of the “Here Come the Brides” series. When I got this book I told myself this is a different author and a whole new story and I needed to be a good, open-minded reviewer. I got my reward. The Bridal Quest has more going for it. It has things like better characters and a slightly more believable plot, for example.

Jessica Walker is not going to marry the man her mother and grandfather have picked for her. She knows she is a coward, but to make sure she won’t cave in, she runs away from home. She soon realizes her mother has cut her off from any money and Jessica is going to have to do something she never had to do before - get a job. Her try at waitressing fails miserably but in the restaurant she meets Sam Dawson and his two young daughters. He works long hours as the town sheriff and needs someone to watch his girls. She needs a job. Of course Jessica and Sam soon realize they can help each other out.

The first, major part of the story has Jessica and Sam learning to care for each other - and Jessica learning to take care of a house and kids. The little girls are interesting all on their own and you can believe it when Jessica comes to love them. Of course she feels at home. How could she help it? She has two adoring children and a nice man to live with. Sam is a really nice guy, too - he proves that when he doesn’t complain after Jessica manages to get all his socks and underwear pink during her first attempt at doing laundry.

The second part of the story concerns Jessica’s involuntary return to the Walker home. Her sister, the one her manipulative adoptive mother had dropped off at the hospital at birth, has appeared. The two sisters quickly bond. Since her sister has managed to snag the guy Jessica was supposed to marry, Jessica doesn’t have to worry about marriage to the wrong man. Now her guy problem is, of course, that she is in love with Sam. When her family discovered where she was she thought he had told the Walkers about her. She accused him of betraying her. He responded by agreeing that she should leave. She finds out she had been wrong, of course. Now she’s sure he never wants to see her again.

The two plots mesh together a little better than in the first book, but there is still a lot going on at the end of the story when things ought to feel concluded. But then, as I said before, this is a three part series. This installment was an improvement over the opening part but the events that make this trilogy a series are still so improbable that I could skip the third book. Please?

--Irene Williams

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